"I believe starting a new company is like a puzzle; to be successful you need the right pieces and to fit them together properly. I enjoy helping entrepreneurs put the puzzle together."
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Flip has been part of InterWest's IT team since 1982. With a background in engineering, he has invested in multiple areas of information technology, including semiconductors, computing and networking equipment, and infrastructure and applications software. He is chairman of the board of Xilinx (XLNX), a publicly held company, and is a board member of several privately held companies, including Convey Computer, Microfabrica and Pelican Imaging. Flip also serves on the advisory board of Storm Ventures II and is a past president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists.
Prior to joining InterWest, Flip was with IBM from 1973 to 1980, where he worked in engineering management. He managed both chip design and systems integration for several IBM office automation products.
Flip earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University and received his M.S. and B.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He has one international and two U.S. patents.
CIENA (IPO 1997, CIEN), Copper Mountain Networks (IPO 1999, CMTN), Edify (IPO 1996, EDFY), Kalpana (Acquired by Cisco in 1994), Lightera (Acquired by CIENA in 1999), Nanogen (IPO 1998, NGEN), Network Computing Devices (IPO 1992, NCDI), PlaceWare (Acquired by Microsoft in 2003), Power Integrations (IPO 1997, POWI), Ramp Networks (IPO 1999, RAMP), Rendition (Acquired by Micron in 1998), Sitera (Acquired by Vitesse in 2000), SpectraLinear (Acquired by Silicon Labs in 2011), Stratacom (Acquired by Cisco in 1992), Xlinx (IPO 1990, XLNX)
Working with the entrepreneurial CEO is my favorite part of venture capital. A CEO can often feel isolated; I try to be someone who will take the time, listen, exchange ideas, and occasionally coax people through difficult decisions.
It is difficult for a board member to contribute at the detailed operational level - management should manage the company. However, over the years, working with many companies, we can make management aware of the patterns they may not see; our experience with similar situations combined with management's experience with the specifics makes for a better decision.